Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Great handy guidebook that's easy to use and carry
on 27 December 2014
A simple, easy to use and easy to carry guide to Malta and Gozo. The top 10 format is helpful when deciding what to do on a short trip - it doesn't have the sort of heavy detail that a guide such as Lonely Planet might, or get you 'off the beaten track' - but it doesn't need to. Most travellers do plenty of internet research these days. I get all my detail and up-to-the-minute information from the web, and a guidebook is then just to jog my memory and give me something to carry when I've not got internet access.
Like all books in this series, it is compact (fits easily in a handbag) and sturdy, with a thick glossy cover that survives a rainstorm and plenty of battering. The inside of both back and front covers feature fold out maps, which are tough enough to last a lot of unfolding and refolding and the odd shower. The front cover inside has a map of all three islands with the key places marked. The inside back cover has street maps of Valletta and the Three Cities, Sliema, and a map of bus routes on both islands.
A new addition from older versions of these books is the 'pull out guide' - a small fold out map stored in a pouch inside the back cover, which can be removed and carried with you if you want to travel really light and leave the guide behind. It's made of the same tough, glossy card as the cover, and features the same maps along with essential numbers, phrases and a selection of things to do (all map referenced).
The guide covers all three islands making up the country (Malta, Gozo and Comino), so whichever island you stay on you should find plenty of information. Many will visit all three as part of their trip anyway, as the distances are small and you can visit sites even at the opposite end of the other island in a day. As well as top 10s of things to see and do, it includes practical information such as transport, customs and safety, and a short phrasebook (although English is an official language and spoken very well by virtually everybody).
Some other reviews criticise the guide for not being completely up to date, which I agree with on certain aspects. But lets admit, no guidebook is ever completely up to date - by the time its published several months at least have usually elapsed. I don't know anyone now who would rely on a guidebook for that sort of information - that's not why people use guidebooks nowadays. These books provide what the modern, internet-connected user really wants from a paper guide - a nice layout, good maps, lots of colour photos, helpful advice. It doesn't rely on being plugged in or having enough battery, and it costs you nothing in roaming charges to read the contents. And if your internet research reveals a discrepancy in details, you can just biro them in!